No one cares about you
and that’s okay.
Before you get all huffy and defensive, I’m not saying that your friends and your family don’t care about you. Obviously, some people care about you. But that people who don’t know, people you’ve never met, probably do not care about you. Because you’re not the center of the universe. Or even in their realm of thought at all.
This is something I’ve struggled with and maybe you can relate…but…
Why do we take it so personally when complete strangers don’t give us the time of day? Why do we think people owe us the kindness of forming an opinion about us? Why must we be liked by people we don’t even know, have never met, and know nothing about us?
I’ve been sending a lot of cold emails lately. As much as I stalk and learn about the person I’m sending them too, it took me a while to realize that even the most personalized and fuzzy cold emails are still…well…cold.
This person doesn’t know me. And me saying that I liked something they’ve written or am a huge fan of their product, doesn’t make us friends. It makes the email a tiny bit warmer. But like the east coast at the end of April right now, it’s still cold.
I got some cold responses to my cold emails and even more frequently got no response at all. Which hurt a bit at first because the initial reaction is “Was it something I said?”
Followed by “They must have looked at my website, social media, etc. and decided they hate me” and thats why they’re not responding.
But the truth is;
IT’S NOT THAT DEEP
They don’t even know me enough to form an opinion, period.
No one is paying as much attention as you think
Everyone is really only looking out for their own best interests and trying to keep up with what’s happening around them. This isn’t even specific to entrepreneurship or business.
I think back to when I used to work in an office full of fashion-forward interior designers and architects who all knew how to perfectly color-block, mix prints and walk in high-heels. Since my wardrobe consists of 3 colors (black, grey, and a different shade of grey), I was envious and intimidated by the spectrum of fashions around me. For the first few months, I would endlessly stress about putting together a decent outfit and to be sure not to repeat it because everyone would surely notice.
It didn’t take me long to realize that everyone was way too busy to notice my outfits let alone if I wore the same shirt twice in one week. I felt silly and vain thinking that people had nothing else on their minds than to notice me. Towards the end of that job, I was so burnt out and over it that I purposely recycled the same five outfits every week on the same days, just to free up some mental space. At that point, I had also stopped noticing what everyone else was wearing. Which brings me to my next point…
A lot of times, caring what people think is just projection
I was afraid everyone noticed my outfits, because I spent all day analyzing what everyone else was wearing. My fashion sense was nowhere near anyone’s radar. I was just projecting thoughts onto other people.
If I’m worried that someone is ignoring me, I might be projecting my own guilt from having ignored someone else. If I think someone is lying to me, it’s probably because I’ve told that same lie before. If I’m afraid someone is judging my outfit, I may have subconsciously judged someone wearing something similar so I’m assuming the karma will come back to me.
It’s a huge exercise in self-awareness to pinpoint how your own actions towards other people define how you think people perceive you.
Put yourself on the other side
Think about a time when you took your sweet time getting back to someone. I accidentally ghost people all the time. Sometimes I just don’t text people back. and it’s literally only because I forgot. Not because I have some grudge I’m holding on to. Not because I don’t like you or because I’m stewing over a response. Again, it’s almost never that deep. It’s definitely not because your email wasn’t articulated well-enough or because you said “Cheers” instead of “Best” to sign off. If those were the reasons I didn’t reply back to someone, I would need to seriously sort out my priorities.
Note to self:
Stop making things about you that are definitely not about you. Everyone is working on themselves and really can’t be bothered most of the time to worry about what you’re doing.
We’re all just out here doing our best.
Did you read this and think “wow, I can totally relate!”? If yes, then you might also like my newsletter! It’s where I share even more articles (like this one) that inspire mindfulness.
Sarah Aboulhosn is a writer and content strategist who loves murder podcasts, flying over oceans, stand-up comedy. Learn more about how her and how she helps businesses grow at www.sarahaboulhosn.com.